DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: Sleeping by the vent at my sister's place has brought a lot to light. I've found out she and her husband are having big troubles with their marriage and might be splitting up. I even know what all their problems are, and it's like a train wreck -- too interesting to stuff my ears with toilet paper. He's not a bad dad, I must say. If he moves out, their little kids will be very upset, but it will be much better for me, so I'm not saying anything... yet. Should I tell my sister what I know and have been keeping secret -- that he's been flirting with our youngest sister who is an 18-year-old brat with no morals? I know for a fact they flirt on the phone privately from this house when my sister is at work. He's so cocky he thinks I can't figure out he has my sister on the line at night. -- Fuel to the Fire? St. Boniface
Dear Fuel: Hiding this phone flirtation will not help this young family -- nor will your continued presence. You should tell your sister about the daily phone calls so the one- or two-way infatuation can't grow into physical contact as easily. Enc ourage your sister to get her husband into relationship counselling ASAP for the whole family's sake, and make immediate plans to vacate their home. You need a suitable roommate, like a girlfriend, or maybe to bunk temporarily with an unmarried female family member like an aunt if you're under-employed. Being in the middle of a rocky marriage doesn't help this pair and their kids one iota. They need privacy and help with facing and solving their problems. So make your move out quickly, and then tell your parents or go directly to your married sister and break it to her gently about the frequency and tone of these calls.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I have been in a wonderful live-in relationship with a man for the past four years. We are considered a very attractive, sexy couple and have an excellent, passionate sex life. We have done role-playing and some light bondage, and have a lot of fun together. I suggested we go to the Black 'n' Blue fetish ball in our first year of courtship. We had a wonderful time, except near the end of the Ball, a young man approached me and asked to touch me. I think my boyfriend may have initiated it. I know my boyfriend fantasizes about seeing me with another man or even another woman. I allowed it for him -- and a little bit out of curiosity. However, I wasn't turned on. We have been to maybe four more Balls since. I realize I don't like other men or women touching me -- but my boyfriend still does. We have even skipped the last few Balls because of this problem. I'd like to go to the upcoming Valentine Ball, but don't want other people touching me. Is there something wrong with me? As well, I was terribly upset and jealous when I heard my boyfriend had touched another woman. Any suggestions? -- Naughty, But Nice, Winnipeg
Dear Nice: Play the role of dominant Mistress at this ball, and make all the rules. Rule No.1 Your presence depends on no one touching you, or you depart. Rule No. 2 Your boyfriend has no business setting men up to come over and ask to touch you. Rule No. 3 You will not tolerate his touching other women, other than to shake hands or wave goodbye. If he's not OK with those rules, don't go. It's not going to make or break your relationship. If he doesn't get it, turn it around for him. He has every right to refuse to do anything he doesn't feel comfortable with as well. Hopefully, he'd feel free to tell you where his boundaries lie. The minute anyone starts letting people run over sexual boundaries, toxic emotions arise, and obsessive thinking begins. Tell him, with your head held high, that other women touching him sexually makes you jealous and you don't need that feeling messing up your emotional life. Don't be afraid to stand up for yourself and direct your sex life from a position of power.
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